Commerce Express Weekly Road Map:
June 20th, 2023
Keeping you informed on the latest news/insights in our industry.
Commerce Express Blog
Accidents, like the one that’s about to be laid out, quickly reminds the motoring public of who it shares the road with.
While most of the time, hazmat haulers and tankers fly under the radar and carry out business as usual, these vehicles possess dangerous cargoes which are a major safety risk.
It’s rare, but when accidents do happen, they can bring along devastating consequences, like what happened last week.
Will I-95 Reopen Earlier Than Predicted?
Pennsylvania Governor, Josh Shapiro believes I-95 WILL reopen earlier than they expected.
According to an announcement from the Governor…
“I can state with confidence that we will have I-95 reopened within the next two weeks. We are going to get traffic moving again thanks to the extraordinary work of those here and our incredible union trade workers,” Shapiro said in a statement.
Last Thursday the Governor said the demolition of the damaged bridge and roadway had been completed in four days, which was ahead of schedule.
Additionally on last Thursday, workers began to put down a base in the roadway that used foamed glass aggregate fill once the demolition was completed.
Work continues to go on “24/7” through the holiday weekend to reopen the highway as quickly as possible.
Chassis Providers Fixing Their Old and Least-Reliable Equipment
As U.S. import volumes continue to find a balance in demand, chassis providers have started to fix some of their older and least-reliable equipment in their fleets.
Chassis providers are faced with a decision when older equipment starts to wear down… take the time to take it apart and fix any issues and replace all the components with new ones, or order new units.
Throughout the last few years, high demand has caused much time in operations daily and weekly, which led to a decrease in spare time to take equipment out of service for rehabilitation.
Mexico Opens a $175 Million Highway to Help Increase Trade with Texas
A recent highway project in Mexico is set to help reduce travel times and speeding up cargo truck movements all throughout the state of Chihuahua.
This highway bypass will be 20 miles long and consist of two lanes. According to Freightwaves, this reduces the route between the cities of Villa Ahumada to Guadalupe Villa heading toward El Paso – diverting traffic from urban areas.
This new project is expected to save up to 90 minutes of travel time for transporters that are traveling from central Mexico to the border crossing in El Paso, Texas.
North American Freight Market Updates
- In the Southeast:
- The Charleston Port continues to be running swiftly, as South Carolina ports saw increases in cargo volumes during the months of April and May.
- In the Northeast:
- The Port of NY/NJ has seen a plentiful amount of chassis. As inventory continues to decrease, warehouse transloading options are more available.
- In the Central/Ohio Valley:
- There are no major updates or congestion in the Memphis/Nashville area.
- Capacity in Minneapolis is open, and chassis continues to remain available.
- In Kansas City, some carriers are reporting some congestion at the Norfolk Southern ramp.
- Indianapolis is seeing are seeing ‘healthy’ amounts of chassis equipment, and no issues for drivers at railyards have been reported.
Did You Know: CVSA Brake Safety Week Taking Place August 20th-26th
The focus of this year’s brake safety week is on brake linings and pad violations.
Commercial motor vehicle inspectors will conduct variety of inspections and will remove trucks and buses from roadways that are found to have brake related out-of-service violations. The trucks/buses will remain off the road until the violations are fixed.
These inspectors will also be reporting brake-related inspection and violation data to the CVSA – results will be published in the fall.
The Railroad Industry Sues to Block the CARB Emission Rules
Zero-emission technology for locomotives isn’t tested and won’t be ready, the railroad industry argues.
On June 16th, the railroad industry sued to block the CARB emissions rule saying they would be “forced” to retire around 25,000 diesel-powered locomotives throughout the U.S. long before their zero-emission counterparts are ready to trade places.
Furthermore, the lawsuit asks a judge to declare that the California Air Resources Board does NOT have the authority to issue these rules. The various trade groups say that only the federal government can regulate railroads because it is an interconnected industry that crosses state lines, per Transport Topics.
Since 2020, California has produced rules that would ban the sale of new gas-powered cars, lawn equipment and trucks by the middle of the next decade.
However, these rules impacting railroads would ban the use of locomotives more than 23 years old – starting in 2030 – which would have railroads having to put a significant amount of funds towards the purchases of zero-emission locomotives and related equipment.
Weekly Rail Traffic for the Week Ending June 10th, 2023
- Total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 471,141 carloads and intermodal units – which was down nearly 6 percent (5.9) compared to the same time last year.
- U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 242,153 containers and trailers – down 11.2 percent compared to the same period, per the AAR.
- Non-metallic minerals, motor vehicles and parts, metallic ores and metals all posted increases compared to the same week last year. While grain, coal and forest products all posted decreases.
- For the first 23 weeks of the year, total combined U.S. traffic was 10,534,733 carloads and intermodal units – which is down 4.2 percent from the same time last year.